Abigail Harrison, News Editor
The East Central Alabama Walk to End Alzheimer’s event was held this Sunday, September 27.
The walk was partnered with JSU Sigma Kappa Fraternity, and local participants gathered at Jacksonville Public Square to raise funds and awareness for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
This year 78 participants and 20 teams attended to walk for the cause. Each individual was encouraged to share their personal stories about the disease and work on fundraising prior to walking.
The East Central Alabama chapter accomplished 112% of its fundraising goal. According to the Alzheimer’s Association website, $28,095 was raised by the participants. All funds go to support the research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association, a non-profit organization with a vision to see “a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”
The association’s work is important because six million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and deaths from the disease have increased 145% since 2000.
Alzheimer’s Association chapters all across the nation are dedicated to researching for a cure, caring for those affected by the disease, and advocating for initiatives at state and federal levels. There are many ways individuals can get involved in the fight such as joining a local chapter, making donations, or participating in events.
Even if someone is not directly connected to the disease or to individuals with the disease, he or she can still volunteer with efforts to end Alzheimer’s because there are many affected in local communities that need support.
An important part of the walking event is the Promise Garden Ceremony. During the ceremony, participants choose from four different colored flowers to represent why they are walking for Alzheimer’s.
A blue flower represents someone who is currently living with Alzheimer’s. Purple represents an individual who lost someone to the disease. A yellow flower is someone who is caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s, and participants with an orange flower are walking simply to support the cause to fight the disease.
Participants then “plant” their flowers in the Promise Garden, creating an impactful experience that reflects the focus of the event. People may come from different backgrounds and experiences with the disease, but there is solidarity in their mission.